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What Causes Nocturnal Seizures?

Understanding Nocturnal Seizures are very imperative if you are experiencing Epilepsy while sleeping. This is a kind of seizure that happens when a person is sleeping or in light sleep. Moreover, these are most probably to be restricted exclusively to sleep. In some people seizures generally occur only during sleep and in some, both daytime and night. According to the recent studies, approximately 10 to 45 percent patients suffering from Epilepsy have seizures mostly or entirely during sleep or occur with Insomnia.

What is Nocturnal Seizure?

Nocturnal Seizures

This is a condition in which a person feels a seizure during the night, especially while sleeping. Generally, patients with this condition are not aware that they are suffering from night seizures. Patients generally go into a deep sleep instantly after having night seizures. Also, those suffering from this seizure may also wake from sleep finding that their bed is wet or bitten their tongue as well.

Its Causes

Our sleep is divided into many stages. This kind of seizure occurs during light sleep such as around arousal during night, soon after falling asleep and before waking up in the morning. This is exceptionally occurring with myoclonic seizures, temporal lobe seizures and atypical absence spell. Other common causes of this seizure are:

  • Disturbed blood glucose level
  • Disturbed electrolytes/body water
  • Reduced oxygen to the brain
  • Increased temperature of the body
  • Disturbed Hormones
  • Altered sleep patterns

The epilepsy linked to night sleep are often tonic-clonic or grand mal seizures. Tonic Clonic seizures have two different phases. In the primary phase, the patient loses consciousness, make loud noises, and the muscle gets tense. This phase lasts a few seconds. However, during the chronic phase, the muscles promptly and fast contract and relax resulting convulsions and the muscle twitches to violent shaking. The general symptoms of this sleep seizure are confusion, migraines, attention problems, daytime sleepiness and more. These can affect the quality of life of the people and increased the symptoms of sleep deprivation.


Many people speculate “Is Epilepsy Hereditary?” Well, the answer is “yes”! Regardless the kind of Epilepsy you are suffering, it might be hereditary if in case any of your family members also suffered from it in the past. Heredity or genetics play a crucial role in many Epilepsy cases.

Nocturnal Seizures Are More Common in Children

These Seizures (Nocturnal) are a kind of Epilepsy, and the patient who suffers from this problem might not remember them or any other who observe the seizures. This kind of Epilepsy is generally seen in children, but adults too experience it. They are triggered by sleep deprivation, medication, photo sensitivity, stress, obstructive sleep apnea and many more. However, the treatment of this epilepsy is done with anti-epileptic drugs and if Nocturnal Epilepsy does not get effective results, then surgery is another option.

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